I sit in a few quiet moments on Christmas break and ponder the treasures, thus far, of this year of Sabbath Rest. Each month, God has given a “word” that He has tutored, deposited, or unpacked for me. “Surrender, wisdom, abundance,” just to name a few. He has graciously told a story of how radically different life could look for us all.
As I sip on my first cup of coffee, “God rest ye merry gentlemen” simply floats through my mind. A half hour later, my brain whirring with Google searches, there is much about the original meaning of this great, old hymn: God make you merry, God give you joy… But I stop and listen to the Spirit, and the dots begin to connect further.
God rest you merry gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
For Jesus Christ, our Saviour
Was born on Christmas Day.
God rest you. Is it not what we all secretly want in our stocking or better, in a huge box under our tree? Is it not what we labor and toil for? That one day, one magical day, we might have “enough” so that we can stop and rest? Do we not all long for a break in the mundane and meaningless, so that we might one day fully live out of this illusive but never ending hunger to live with meaning?
God rest you. How did God rest us? How did He bring the balm to our dismayed souls? For Jesus Christ was born.
Through Christ we enter into His rest (Hebrew 4:10) Not just not working. Not just heaven one day. But we are now able to enter into a wholly other way of doing life. God has himself given us His Peace. His Prince of Peace, in fact. With God, through Jesus, we are able to go through the same day to day turmoil and adventures, struggles and joys because there is something altogether different at work at our core. His rest.
God’s rest is available to us all. Rest from fear, performance, production, striving, satisfaction, significance. Rest from loneliness, coping, hurting. But also rest TO enjoy, delight, consider, dream.
I see God revealing piece after tender piece of His heart and I’m frankly undone.
The Bible says, “Mary treasured these things in her heart.” Take a moment to let God rest you. Treasure His rest in your heart. I find the ripple effect is His rest generates more joy, more gratefulness and even more faith.
God rest you merry gentle ones. Christ has overcome all that would dismay. O tidings of comfort and joy!